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Sierra Club to Hold Rally Outside Ballston Common Mall

by ARLnow.com September 27, 2011 at 9:51 am 4,947 73 Comments

It may be the most exciting thing to happen outside Ballston Common Mall since this happened last year. The Virginia Sierra Club is planning a made-for-TV rally tomorrow at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and Stuart Street.

With the help of some interesting visuals, environmental activists will be calling for policies that support cleaner air in Virginia. Specifically, the Sierra Club is asking for public hearings regarding Dominion Virginia Power’s long-term energy plan. They’re also asking for the State Corporation Commission to approve Dominion’s plan to retire two coal-fired power plants in Virginia.

To help put an exclamation point on their message, demonstrators will be bringing along “a 6-foot cardboard asthma inhaler… 6-foot tall mock wind turbines…. pinwheels symbolizing desire for wind energy… and posters and signs calling for a transition from dirty coal to clean energy.” In addition, rally bystanders will be encouraged to place phone calls to the State Corporation Commission requesting public hearings about Dominion.

“Switching to cleaner energy sources can not only reduce dangerous air pollution, but also create high-skill, high-wage jobs for Virginians,” the Sierra Club said in a press advisory. “Activists seek public hearings so citizens may voice their strong support for clean energy and clean air in person”

Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    “…the Sierra Club is asking for public hearings regarding Dominion Virginia Power’s long-term energy plan”

    Translation: We want Dominion to raise prices to force consumers to use less energy.

    “a 6-foot cardboard asthma inhaler”

    Isn’t it great when the contradictory motives come out? Their President’s administration is banning the sale of a type of OTC inhaler which works great for asthmatics and is relativity inexpensive. To replace that inhaler, you’ll have to get a prescription and pay 2x the price.

    • drax


      The OTC inhaler is for mild asthma, and it is being banned because it contains ozone-harming CFCs, something the Sierra Club certainly supports. And it will be back as soon as the manufacturer finishes developing a non-CFC version.

      And the FDA set the deadline for the phase-out during the BUSH Administration. Blaming Obama for that is more right-wing idiocy.

      Meanwhile, we wouldn’t need so much asthma treatment if we did something about air pollution, which is the point of this rally in the first place.

      And the president is everyone’s, not just “theirs.”

      Nice try though.

      • PHD

        thx for the clarifications!

    • Yakov S.

      What is this pay 2x the price you say!! King Barack and Queen Nancy make promise of free health care so I have to pay nothing and the rich people will pay for me. America: What a country!!

    • drax

      Your comment is full of holes:

      1. It’s being banned because it contains CFCs.

      2. It will be back soon when the manufacturer develops a non-CFC version.

      3. It was banned under the BUSH administration, the deadline just happened to come now.

      4. If we did more to stop air pollution, we wouldn’t need so many asthma meds. Duh.

      5. He’s everyone’s president.

      • MC 703

        Facts like #3 are so easy for the right to ignore

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          Fact #3 is a favorite of O supporters. Blame Bush for everything.

          • Josh S

            That’s not the point. You’re really just digging yourself a deeper hole here…..

          • drax

            Yet Bush is ACTUALLY TO BLAME here. Since you blamed Obama, it’s appropriate to mention who is really to blame. Don’t let reality get in your way though.

          • Hank

            Blame Bush for everything until we find out that the Bush Admin thought it a bad idea to give Solyndra loan guarantees

          • AllenB

            Facts are quite inconvenient, aren’t they?

          • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

            So are topics.

      • Josh S

        And reveal a disturbing lack of understanding about how government works. The decision to ban the inhaler would have been made by bureaucrats, not politicians.

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          What branch of government would that be?

          • drax

            It’s absurd to blame the President for every little decision made under his watch. Do you blame him because a clerk lost a pen too?

            In any event, since this decision was actually made in the Bush Administration, you’re just digging the hole deeper.

      • North A-Town Snob

        Your response is full of nonsense:

        1. Correct, however it is such a miniscule amount of the CFCs that it probably has next to no impact on the ozone layer. Of course using the “it’s a minimal amount so you shouldn’t get rid of it” argument is only allowed if you are liberal and anyone wants to cut a government expenditure that you support, because it is such a “minimal amount” of the budget or only adds a “minimal amount” to our Nation’s debt.

        2. If it was just that easy I would assume the manufacturer would already have something that works equally as well in the marketplace to replace it instead of just waiting until the product was banned and then getting something else out there after the fact. The inhalers using FDA mandated HFA as a propellant are garbage compared to those with CFC.

        3. I don’t care what administration’s over-reaching, over-regulating FDA made the decision, as I am not a fan of Dubba or Obummer. You try making that partisan argument to your 8 year old when they have an asthma attack at 3 in the morning, the prescription inhaler is MIA, and you need to get something that will help at the 24 hour CVS. I’m sure at that point in time you should be real concerned about the minimal CFCs the inhaler is releasing into the atmosphere. And as is usually the case when the government oversteps in regulation, the unintended consequences of 2x the cost for an inferior product will just hurt those who suffer most and those who can’t afford it.

        4. Get over it. Again the CFCs released from inhalers are not what is causing the air pollution that is effecting astmha suffers.

        5. Correct, he is every American’s President. Much like Dubba was too, though didn’t stop plenty of people from saying the same thing…it’s called hyperbole. Though I am still waiting for all those leftist Hollywood types who said in 2000 that they would leave the country when Bush got elected to actually leave. We’d all be better off if they lived up to their hyperbole.

        • drax

          1. I was not defending the decision, merely stating that it’s not inconsistent with the Sierra Club’s goals as claimed.

          2. Everyone, including the manufacturer, thought it was going to be easy, which is why they agreed to this deadline.

          3. I don’t care what you think about Obama or Bush. I wasn’t responding to you. UC is the one who blamed Obama, so I pointed out the truth.

          4. You completely miss the point, which is the point of the rally – the ultimate solution to the asthma crisis is less air pollution, not just over the counter meds.

          5. I don’t care if some idiot in Hollywood said it in 2000 either. If it was wrong then, it’s wrong now.

        • Alec Baldwin

          +5 for #5. Oh, wait – were you talking about me? And is hyperbole one of those new awards for famous people like me?

    • Josh S

      The thing is, I can easily see UC turning around and complaining bitterly about how bad politics is – we can’t get anything done, there is too much fighting, politicians are out of touch, etc. But when you use language like “Their President’s…” you are contributing significantly to the climate of rancor we have. It’s divisive, it’s antagonistic and of course it’s factually incorrect. But most important it reveals a mindset that puts ideology or point of view above our democratic form of government. That’s dangerous and destructive.

      • UnlimitedCustoms

        Actually, the gridlock across the Potomac is a GOOD thing.

        The less they can “do,” the better.

        • drax

          Yeah, that makes plenty of sense, genius. Gridlock their ability to cut spending and regulations. You’re right on track to achieve your goals there, UC.

        • Josh S

          Ah, the all-purpose, equal-opportunity, head-in-the-sand curmudgeon! Well, that’s so much better!


        • Thes

          I disagree. I think that if they can provide us with, for example, FDIC insurance, a national interstate highway system, social insurance programs, an efficient military to defend our country, enforcement against fraud, honest courts in which we can resolve our differences, creation of and protection for intellectual property, and *uniform national regulations to protect our air* (which travels over state lines), the better off we are.

          • UnlimitedCustoms

            FDIC insurance
            -moral hazard

            , a national interstate highway system
            -won’t disagree here

            , social insurance programs

            Valle, …, said she had heard regular food stamp recipients were not eligible for the program, but she said a friend on food stamps had received $375. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “….I’m still going to give it a try.”

            , an efficient military to defend our country
            -nothing like attacking a country (Libya) that posed no threat to our security while flaunting the War Powers Act.

            , enforcement against fraud
            -laughing… look at wall street

            , honest courts in which we can resolve our differences,
            -uh huh…

            creation of and protection for intellectual property
            -if you’re part of the recording or movie industry?

            , and *uniform national regulations to protect our air* (which travels over state lines),

            and across the world! one world government! nwo!

          • drax

            Jeez, UC, you demonstrate your complete lack of understanding of the issues every time you post.

          • Josh S

            And incredible internal inconsistency. It’s this internal inconsistency which is most frustrating.

  • LVGuy

    He’s your President too.

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      “Their” meant the Sierra Club’s. They support and endorse him, therefore I can say that. By saying “their” I wasn’t stating the status as it relates to me…

      • Josh S


  • CrystalMikey

    Nothing like killing trees to get your environmental message across.

    • drax

      What trees were killed?

      • 4th grade reader

        “a 6-foot cardboard asthma inhaler”

        Reading comprehension. Try it sometime.

        • LVGuy

          Cardboard might come from recycled sources.

          Thinking is fun. Try it sometime.

          • 4th grade reader


            Oh, then they didn’t have to kill a tree in order to make it the first time. And what other fuel wastes were expended to recycle it? Recycling doesn’t come free either. Thanks for playing. Next.

          • drax

            You’re digging the hole deeper too, huh 4th grade?

            Okay, we can play.

            First of all, paper is already out there. Recycling it is certainly preferable to throwing it in a landfill.

            Second, paper is often made from renewable, sustainable, farmed trees, like Eucalyptus, these days.

            Third, you’re being a ridiculous curmudgeon making an idiotic point, as many critics of environmentalists do. You expect them to live by an extreme that they don’t advocate. The Sierra Club has never advocated banning all paper or having absolutely no environmental impact no matter what you do. That’s a loony strawman.

            But you had your fun. Now it’s over.

        • drax

          So you assume it’s not made of recycled cardboard?

          Oops, reading comprehension involves actual thinking.

    • Ricardo

      Trees grow back!

      • Yes Siree Bob

        You! Away from here with your “common sense!” It will not be tolerated!

        • drax

          Common sense is often wrong.

          Trees grow back? Sometimes, but not always, and it can take 500 years for a mature forest to develop.

    • Josh S

      This is the best you can do? Some kind of bleat about second grade level “environmental” concerns?

      And I’m guessing you must recycle every single piece of paper that comes through your home? And you only buy 100% post consumer paper products, ever?

      Your comment, while cloaked in the mantle of environmental concern, is so clearly nothing but a cheap shot at a group that you probably know very little about.

  • JimPB

    The continuing rains suggests rain power as an alternative energy source (maybe for when the rain clouds dampen down solar power generation).

    • drax

      I say we build a dam at Donaldson Run and import the energy into Arlington.

      • JMB

        I suppose you expect the Donaldsonians to just roll over when we invade and take over their natural resources for Arlington’s benefit?

        • drax

          We have the Pentagon.

          So, yes.

          • JMB

            That’s what we said about ‘Nam, man.

      • Richard Cranium

        I believe they refer to themselves as Donaldson Runningmen.

        But I could be wrong.

  • John Puffencrack

    What does this have to do with Ballston Mall?

    • Josh S

      Well, A) nothing. So what?
      B) It’s a highly visible and busy location. Obviously, you don’t want to hold a rally in the middle of nowhere.
      C) If you wanted to, you could argue that consumerism is the root of all environmental evils.

  • Steamboat Willie

    An article about a Sierra Club rally? The comments section should be a right wing frothfest in no time at all.

    Drax with the #3 pimp slap. Bravo.

    • drax

      The funny thing is, I KNEW there would be more to the story if I looked. Sure enough, it took me like 10 seconds to get the details. It’s always like that with these right-wing Internet stories.

  • Jared

    Will I encounter the giant inhaler before or after the gauntlet of well-intentioned but annoying clipboard-wielding volunteers that daily stalk my walk from the Metro? Sometimes it feels like the scene in Airplane with Robert Stack trying to get through the airport. “Jews for Jesus? How about Buddhism?”

    • drax

      I’d give to Jews for Buddha.

  • NoVapologist

    I am going to gout on a limb here and guess that drax is the poster fka mehoo and dynaroo. Unless there is someone new that likes generating 20% of the comments in each thread.

    • drax

      Does it matter?

      • Answer Man


        • samsonite

          and for the record, it’s more like 30%, not 20%. But that’s okay – I never let facts distract ME either.

  • brendan

    First off,

    Kind of funny that they pick a location within a block the The Nature Conservancy HQ. Not sure what the deal with that is.

    Second this inhaler CFC thing is totally stupid… It’s like focusing fuel efficiency standards on push lawnmowers. Virtually irrelevant and ignoring the larger problem. Obama can no longer be defended on environmental issues – he clearly views his re-election efforts in the Ohio River Valley over any practical attempts at addressing air quality and the enormous amount of pollution caused by coal power plants. He cut the legs out from under Lisa Jackson and the EPA to cater to a couple coal execs that aren’t going to vote for him anyway. Total bull.

    Also in regards to a point made earlier about the OTC inhalers coming back is entirely hypothetical. They don’t have the technology to do so now, so it’s impossible to know of a date when they’ll available – likely 5-10+ years.

    • drax

      Did you not read the thread? This policy was decided under Bush. But it’s a minor issue that really has nothing to do with any president. Blame the FDA if you don’t like it.

      And no, it’s not entirely hypothetical. I’m the one who actually bothered to look this up, remember? A few years ago, the manufacturer said they could have a new one by now. So the delay is very unlikely to be another 5-10 years.

      A medical advisory panel voted years ago that PM was an unnecessary drug, btw. No Bush or Obama, no politics.

      • brendan

        Meanwhile the president is overruling EPA clean air standards and enforcement for coal power plants… While taking a strong stand again OTC inhalers. I get it now.

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          Exactly. While one can say the policy was enacted under Bush, it is Obama’s administration that is enacting it. As the President of the executive branch, he can direct his EPA to not enforce this policy. Pretty simple as brendan shows above.

          • drax

            You really want the president to issue an executive order about a minor OTC medication?

            You are really really desperate for political points today, UC.

            But hey, why didn’t Bush issue such an order in 2008? (Because it was just as idiotic an idea then.)

          • Josh S

            It’s sort of not worth it and certainly not typical of presidents to come in and review every single bureaucratic decision made by executive branch agencies under the previous president. So while the rule may be taking effect now, if the decision was made before Obama took office, he’s got nothing to do with it. Bureaucracies are specifically set up to operate consistently and predictably despite changes in the political leadership.

            You may recall that Bush actually took heat at the beginning of his presidency because he made a point of publicly overturning many rules the Clinton administration had enacted, many of them having to do with environmental protection.

            If the government were to typically change the rules every time there was an election, our economy would not be as large as it is now since businesspeople could not know what to expect and so therefore would be a lot more wary of new investments, etc.

        • drax

          So do you support EPA clean air standards, brendan?

          “While taking a strong stand again OTC inhalers”

          Wrong. Read the thread. Obama had nothing to do with this.

          • brendan

            are you employed, Mr. Lebowski?

          • drax

            The Dude abides.

    • Josh S

      The inhaler CFC thing, I’m guessing, will have nothing to do with the Sierra Club’s protest. Their issue is air pollution. CFCs have nothing to do with air pollution.

  • Anonymous22

    Also interesting is the demonstration is 1 block away from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association that fights for rights of small electric cooperatives.

    • Josh S

      It’s DC, folks. Any demonstration will be within some relatively small distance from any number of organizations, corporations, agencies etc that are somehow related to the demonstration. It’s not noteworthy.

  • C. Piven

    If I were an enemy of the US and wanted to force everybody to purchase energy from sources I controlled and thereby control economic output and in turn make everyone dependent on a government I control, I’d wholeheartedly support this rally.

    But I’m not.

    Not that I’m saying that anyone is. I’m just saying what I’d do. If I were.

    I’m sure there are many other reasons to support it, but I don’t want to waste the kilo-calories putting any thought to it and typing them out.

  • Anthony Weiner

    Protests have lost all there value. Nobody cares about you anymore. Go home and find a tax paying job.

  • Creating rancor is the job of the right-wing. Perpetuating right-wing-created chaos is a political strategy. Stay out of the fray, and leave them with no one to argue with but themselves. They can’t be educated. They’ve chosen ignorance over science. Nothing anyone can do. They’re lost and can no longer find reason and rationalization.

    • Josh S

      The problem is that there is that 33% in the middle that aren’t sure. You can’t just let the head in the sand types dominate the public discourse.


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